“Education is the number one way to lift people out of poverty, to move women up the ladder; the answer is always education,” says Josephine Bush (‘16, international studies).
Bush, a long distance runner who competed on the cross country team at CSU, saw competitive running as an opportunity to value each day as a new adventure and to interact with more people and places. This belief corresponded to the classroom as well, where she double majored in international studies and German because she wanted to “interact with people and make an impact instead of worrying about small, personal problems,” she says.
She took that interest in people and making an impact to heart, and shortly after graduation, she pursued a master’s degree in international relations and cultural diplomacy studies (at the University of Siena in Italy and the Center for Cultural Diplomacy Studies in Berlin, Germany). She now works as an assistant kindergarten teacher at South Bronx Classical Charter School in New York City.
“Teaching is a great place to start being involved in educational policy, in a way,” Bush says. “Education is the most important thing in this world, and New York City is a gateway into international policy, so that’s why I’m here.”
And it is the combination of education and international policy that drives Bush, as evidenced by the Sub-Stances website that she and four fellow graduate students created as part of their graduate program.
They publish two to three podcasts monthly, as well as other interactive content such as quizzes and blog posts, on Sub-Stances. The overall goal is to educate listeners with “substantial points of views from various stances,” she says.
“We want to make people more culturally aware,” Bush says. “This site and podcast has grown a lot, and it sparks a ton of topic discussions, involves a ton of people, and is a great platform for people to learn.” Some of the topics addressed recently are genocide awareness – with interviews with three women from Serbia, institutionalized racism in academia in the U.S., and the Great Firewalls in China.
This effort fits one of her mottos: when people are educated about something they don’t know about or have only one perspective on, they will change.
While she enjoys teaching, Bush’s ultimate goal is to be part of a non-governmental organization (NGO) that focuses on international policy and educational initiatives, such as the United Nations or Human Rights Watch. Bush wants to “be in a role to make the world a better place.”
She recalls, “My father has said to me, ‘You’ve been a lot of places. Don’t ever go through life saying, ‘wish I had done something.’”